Managing a successful commercial vehicle fleet effectively can be challenging. In addition to ensuring that you comply with FMCSA and DOT requirements, the JJ Keller ELD will make management tasks easier.

For instance, this solution is equipped with an assortment of tools for river qualification and hiring recording, CMV legalization as well as alcohol and drug program management.

This device is also known to help with vehicle inspection and maintenance tracking. In addition to these, the Encompass electronic logging device also offers the very best of compliance capabilities. In this regard, you will like its reliable DOT compliance tools like IFTA/IRP reporting.

The fact that it is being used by more than 350,000 drivers and 11,000 fleets is an indication that JJ Keller is among the preferred ELD brands in the trucking industry. Throughout this guide, you will learn what makes the J.J Keller Encompass one of the best ELD devices in the market.

JJ Keller ELD Device Review 2019 – Quick Facts

Founded in 1953, JJ Keller & Associates is the company behind the research, development and production of this ELD solution.

The provider is renowned for an array of services including workplace safety, OSHA compliance, construction safety. Also, fleet management and transportation. The company is particularly one of the most respected providers in the trucking industry.

The provider offers a simplified, affordable and efficient compliance solution. This is done through its Encompass ELD device, fleet management software and driver’s mobile. The ELD solution by this provider is essentially designed to offer enhanced compliance efficiency and oversight into fleets.

By streamlining driver and vehicle compliance, the device offers drivers and fleet managers more time to focus on other things. As one of the most versatile options, it features a series of regulatory dashboards, compliance alerts and exceptions-based reports. Additionally, it will also give you real-time access to the information you need.

Get Your Fleet the Best Automated Compliance

With this solution implemented in your fleet, you will have complete visibility into all employees and driver records in the fleet. Additionally, the automation offered by the JJ Keller ELD will streamline daily tasks in your fleet.  This level of automation will help you proactively manage personnel in your fleet as well as boost productivity and CSA driver fitness score.

Throughout this review, you will learn why thousands of drivers and fleet managers prefer using the JJ Keller Encompass ELD solution.

JJ Keller ELD Benefits

  • Highly adaptable and easy to implement
  • Offers an affordable, flexible and simple ELD solution
  • Improves regulatory compliance and performance management
  • Addresses fleet risks in real-time to minimize liabilities
  • Enhances profitability in fleets
  • Offers a perfect blend of performance and compliance tools
  • Compatible with almost any vehicle make and model
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Drawbacks

Although this is one of the most diversified fleet compliance and management solution, its telematics capabilities are rather limited. Again, the device does not allow you to send logs via email.

JJ Keller ELD Pricing

JJ Keller offers several affordable ELD solutions to suit different fleet sizes and needs. Basically, the black ELD devices that you need to attach to the diagnostic port in your vehicle comes at an upfront cost of $249.

While ordering for your device, you will be notified of the much you will be required to pay per month at the checkout.

The provider also offers a display option in the form of a tablet. However, you may as well use your own display devices. In this case, you should expect to pay a lower upfront cost or even get the ELD for free under a 2-year contract with the provider. If you decide to use the JJ Keller tablet, you will be required to pay about $349 upfront.

Again, fleets using this tablet are said to pay about $59 per month for each vehicle. Again, you will be required to pay $33.50 subscription fees for a Verizon data plan. In addition to these costs, you may be required to pay a one-time implementation cost as well as training fees, which depends on your fleet size.

JJ Keller ELD Device Features and Capabilities

Complying with both DOT and FMCSA mandate requirements requires a lot of work. However, the automation offered by the JJ Keller Encompass ELD solution is meant to make compliance and fleet management a lot easier.

Just like some of the best ELD devices in the industry, the Encompass offers an array of tools you will find useful.

For instance, it offers hiring and driver qualification recordkeeping, hours of service (HOS) compliance as well as alcohol and drug program management capabilities.

In addition to these, here are several other capabilities you will come to like about the JJ Keller ELD solution.

1. Vehicle Inspection Capabilities

The DOT recently reviewed the requirement to complete written daily Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs). However, fleets still need to conduct daily inspections on their vehicles. This being the case, most fleets still require their drivers to conduct several inspections on their vehicles during a workday.

Electronic DVIRs (EDVIR) are easier to complete and will go a long way in minimizing downtime, safety risks and prolonging vehicle life. Again, completing detailed EDVIR or DVIRs will also serve as proof of compliance with FMCSRs, should the vehicle be involved in an accident.

In this regard, here are some of the key inspections the JJ Keller device is capable of handling:

DVIR/Post-Trip Inspections

In accordance with §396.11, your drivers may be required to report the conditions of their vehicles to the fleet manager at the end of each day. This is essentially done by submitting accurate DVIRs. As opposed to passenger-carrying vehicles, drivers of property-carrying trucks will benefit from an exception that allows them to only submit DVIRs.

While completing DVIRs using this ELD device, you are only required to conduct a post-trip inspection on the vehicle. DVIR inspections, in this case, will require you to check the same items you check diluting a port-trip inspection, except hot items and fluids.

Pre-trip Inspections

According to the §392.7 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), a driver should ensure that a vehicle is under a good working condition prior to operating it.

In this case, this regulation has provided a list of items that a driver is required to check before operating a motor vehicle.

For the best results, it is advisable for drivers to follow a step by step approach to the pre-trip vehicle inspection. The state CDL manuals lists the seven steps you need to follow in this case, including:

  • Vehicle overview
  • Engine compartment inspection
  • Engine startup/ in-cab checks
  • Lights
  • Walk around
  • Turn signal checks
  • LAB PS brake test

If a problem is found, the driver is not supposed to operate the vehicle until the problem is resolved. Although the regulation does not require any pre-trip inspection documentation, the JJ Keller offers pre-trip inspection forms. Alternatively, you may require your drivers to note what they inspected in their daily logs.

Enroute Inspections

There are two main enroute inspections that drivers are required to carry out while transporting cargo. These are:

  • Cargo Securement Inspection

These are required by the regulation, under §392.9. according to this regulation, drivers are required to conduct this inspection within the first 50 miles of loading the truck. Afterwards, they will be required to inspect the vehicle after every 150 miles, 3 hours or at every duty change.

If the cargo happens to be sealed within the cargo area or is loaded in such a way that does not allow you to check the securement, you may be exempted from doing so. In such a case, the driver will not be required to carry out this entire inspection.

  • Tire Inspection if Carrying Hazardous Materials

If you are transporting hazardous materials in your truck, the regulation stipulates that you need to inspect the condition of the tires enroute. Under the §392.17 the drivers of such vehicles are required to inspect their vehicles before driving them, any time the vehicles are parked and at the end of the trip.

If you discover a flat tire, you need to drive to the nearest repair point to have the tire repaired. If you discover that some of the tires have overheated, you are not supposed to operate the vehicle until the tires have cooled down.

Even when not transporting hazardous materials, it is advisable to carry out a quick walk-around inspection. This inspection. Is meant to check such things as lights, hub heat, tires, and cargo securement.

2. Fuel Tax Reporting Tools

The International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) are some of the most important compliance aspects.

These two entries are particularly required in the motor carrier tax and registration. A considerable number of fleets today spend a considerable amount of time compiling the required information. Filling quarterly as well as monthly reports and getting accurate vehicle enrollment and registration.

However, the process for not have to be this complicated and time-consuming. In order to make things easier for your fleet, the J.J. Keller Encompass ELD device and fleet management system is designed to automate the process. As you may be aware, late submissions, as well as IFTA reporting errors and omissions may predispose your fleet to audit risk.

In order to avoid such audit risks and penalties related to IFTA reporting, you need to invest in an ELD solution that makes it easier and accurate. In this regard, these are some of the IFTA reporting capabilities that fleet managers and owners love about the J.J Keller ELD device:

IRP Reporting

This is essentially an agreement that encompasses the registration of commercial vehicles. The agreement allows qualifies vehicles to travel through a number of jurisdictions using a single license plate. However, the trucks will be required to pay the apportioned registration fees for each of the jurisdictions they are passing through.

IRP registration mainly entails apportioning the fees according to the distance a vehicle has travelled through each jurisdiction. If your fleet is apportioned under IRP, you need to keep track of individual vehicle mileage record (IVMR). In this case, you will love o know that the Encompass ELD device automates this process for accurate reporting.

By automating IRP reporting, this device has been proven to negate some challenges commonly associated with manual reporting. For instance, it will accurately complete the required forms and compile miles each vehicle has driven in each state.

The J.J. Keller ELD is capable of tracking vehicle miles within each jurisdiction, either manually or electronically. Additionally, the device makes it easier for you to comply with the monthly and quarterly IRP reporting requirements.

Automated IFTA Reporting

The J.J Keller Encompass ELD and fleet management solution allows for both electronic and manual fuel tax reporting.

Additionally, this solution will offer your company a centralized storage, access and search functionality for the required IFTA documentation. With such a system in your fleet, you will be able to reduce a week-long reporting to just a few hours.

In this regard, the device is mainly designed to track the GPS data of each vehicle to ascertain the number of miles it was driven within each state and province.

This data is than sent to the Encompass back-office for analysis and generation of required reports. With this data conveniently available in your back-office, it may be easier and faster for you to reconcile and generate IFTA reporting forms.

With this device, you will also be able to import fuel card data as well as audit this data against driver HOS records. The device, along with driver app will also ensure that you do not have illegible, missing or even late paperwork submission in the fleet. With this solution, you can rest assured that your IFTA reporting will never have erroneous or forgotten entries.

3. Hours of Service Compliance

This is one of the main reasons commercial vehicle drivers and fleet managers are investing in ELD devices. Although these devices are mainly designed to meet the mandate's requirements, not all of them are suited for your needs.

Just like some of the leading ELD devices, the JJ Keller ELD device is compliant with the FMCSA's mandate requirements.

In this regard, the device is essentially designed to log driver's duty status and hours automatically and electronically. This being the case, the device will accurately display the available hours for CMV drivers in your fleet. This, in turn allows you to leverage the available drive time, in an effort to meet customer demands.

The Encompass ELD device allows you to track driver HOS for an array of log types, including paper logs, electronic logs, time cards and exempt logs. Regardless of the log type you will be using, this device will always ensure that you are compliant with DOT regulations.

For instance, it will audit available hours for each driver against parts 395 and 396. By so doing, it will easily identify violations, falsifications or even missing logs.

Other HOS log compliance capabilities offered by the JJ Keller ELD device include:

Hours of Service and Driver Log Auditing

The JJ Keller ELD device employs proprietary causing process for recording and managing hours of service. The device essentially meant to ensure that every driver logs hours including scannable and electronic logs.

These are audited in accordance to parts 395 and 396 of the regulation. Additionally, the system will also ensure that those logs are audited against other applicable industry and state rule sets.

The system also features HOS notifications and alerts within its online portal. As such, fleet managers and owners will be able to know whenever a driver in their fleets violates HOS logs or fails to submit required logs. This will, in turn, allow you to take the right course of action to prevent penalties resulting from violations.

The device also offers reporting capabilities, allowing you to cross check the drivers and uncover hidden violations. The device has been proven to help fleet managers uncover such concealed HOS violations as driver edits, device malfunctions, and unsigned drive time. The device will also help you discover excessive use of special categories like yard time and personal conveyance in your fleet.

You will also like the fact that this solution offers an array of ready-made reports like:

  • Log edits
  • Falsification error reports
  • Driver violation grade reports
  • Compliance notification
  • Company violation information
  • Executive violation summary
  • Violation summary report
  • Top 10 violation report

Exempt Driving

In addition to its regular HOS logging tools, the system features a patented technology to help non-regulated and exempt CMV drivers keep track of their hours of service.

Regardless of how complex your operation may be, this solution will always ensure that you get a complete visibility to all your compliance needs.

With this solution implemented across your fleet, you can rest assured that hours of service by all your drivers are 100 percent accurate and compliant with DOT requirements. For instance, the device allows drivers using the 100 or 150-air mile exceptions know when their hours are approaching the threshold.

With such capabilities, both agricultural (Ag) and non-regulated drivers may use the Encompass device to track their hours of service. In this case, the device makes it easy for such drivers to indicate their personal conveyance as well as yard movement times in their logs.  Some of the common Except rule sets supported by this device include:

  • 150 air mile exemption – this is a short haul exemption from HOS logs that is only applicable to property-carrying drivers who are required to have a commercial driver's license (CDL). This exemption rule exempts drivers from the standard grid logs.
  • 100 air mile exemption – this is one of the common exemptions in use today in the trucking industry. Exemption rules of this rule set are covered under section 395.1(e)(1).

Hours of Service Rule Sets

In addition to HOS exemptions, the JJ Keller ELD device features an array of HOS rule sets to cater to various needs. In total, the software supports about 30 different rule sets, allowing you to audit the drivers as they drive. By helping fleets get rid of the most probable log violations, this solution has been proven to make log auditing more efficient.

The fact that these rule sets are built into the ELD device means that they have a lot more benefits to offer carriers, beyond auditing.

For instance, using an allowed exemption forces the ELD to take the appropriate requirements into consideration, in accordance to the rule set. This, in turn, helps carriers avoid log violations in situations that require them to use specific HOS rule sets.

Unassigned Driving Events

Unassigned driving scenarios occurred when a vehicle equipped with an ELD or AOBRD device is moved without the driver logging into the device.

In order for the fleet to remain compliant, you will need to address any unassigned driving events in the fleet. In order to do this, you need to know how to find such events and correct them appropriately within the ELD.

Section 395.32 of FMCSA regulations stipulate that drivers should be presented with any unassigned events in the fleet to accept or deny them. If the unassigned events are not accepted, the J.J Keller fleet management software has a range of tools to assist. The back-office features help you investigate and find out who the events belong to.

In this regard, JJ Keller ELD features that proprietary Encompass SmartAssign technology. This is basically a unique algorithm that the Encompass fleet management back office uses to reduce unassigned driving events in fleets.

Our Final Verdict

With so many electronic logging devices to choose from, a considerable number of CMV drivers, fleet managers and owners are having a hard time choosing the right one. Among the reputable ELD service providers, JJ Keller is one of the best, with regards to versatility, flexibility and functionality.

As you have learned throughout this review, this product is equipped with an array of convenience, compliance and efficiency capabilities. Ranging from HOS compliance reporting and Fuel tax reporting to driver and fleet management tools, JJ Keller is one of the best ELD devices in the market.

Fleet Masters
Author

Fleet Masters is your one-stop for all ELD reviews, tips, and news. We review various devices and provide insight into the ELD mandate. Our aim is to help fleet owners and owner-operators remain compliant.